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Minos

Unreal Engine 3 updates

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I have to say, while Valve makes some excellent games with their engine I seriously can't see any way in which it bests UE3. At first I thought all UE3 games kind of looked the same, but after games like Mirror's Edge — which had quite a Valve style to it IMO — it's impossible to say that. The engine seems to be capable of handling any style and has excellent editing tools, yet is a close cousin to Source and Hammer with regards to overall approach (ie: see Crysis for the opposite end of the spectrum).

I suppose what will keep people working with Source for a long time to come is the unbelievable games Valve produces with it (seriously the best), and the tight communities they have.

I guess the industry agrees, though. Source is pretty much a non-player on the engine licensing scene, whereas UE3 is out of control. :oops:

Dice had to modify the lighting engine heavily to achieve that look though...

I agree with Robert about BSP construction in UED. It´s really a pain in the ass. This builder brush stuff really pisses me off, specially when I hit CTRL + S to save the map and it creates a new brush :-D . But it´s an awesome engine with awesome tools, it just requires a different approach than Source.

Source is a dated engine indeed but it holds up pretty well imo. My biggest problem with it are the tools. Goddamnit we are in 2009 and people still have to use DOS programs to compile their models and stuff :S

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Dice had to modify the lighting engine heavily to achieve that look though...

Anyone with an Unreal license can license the middleware they used. And I would assume that the new Lightmass tool mentioned in your original post is a first-party equivalent.

Source is a dated engine indeed but it holds up pretty well imo. My biggest problem with it are the tools. Goddamnit we are in 2009 and people still have to use DOS programs to compile their models and stuff :S

I can't believe some of the tools in Source even still exist. Another big nod for Unreal here with in-editor importing and the package system.

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like mocking up radially-snapping circular static mesh templates,

Could you, like, provide a screenshot of this? Because I don't have a clue what you're saying. I know what all the individual words are, and even a couple phrases, but all together it just kills braincells fruitlessly if I try to picture it.

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I suppose Valve is so used to working with their editor they don't really mind dealing with the same shitty compilers and stuff. I'd imagine it falls into one of those "we'll get round to doing that eventually" piles that all businesses have, but because they don't really license the engine out that much anymore they just deal with it.

After all, if they're fine with it and the majority of other people using them are just fans who aren't paying Valve, what's the rush? :oops:

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Unreal BSP system is like 5 times faster than Source BSP system.

I'll agree with everything you said except for this.

Unreal is by far the superior editor out of the batch when looking at the "traditional" Radiant/Hammer/Unreal trifecta (and I'm saying this as a life-long Hammer/Radiant user), but its BSP construction is archaic by comparison (which, considering the age of Hammer and Radiant's interfaces, is depressing).

The ironic thing is Unreal's BSP tools are by far the most powerful - extrusion, concave shapes, clean intersection/de-intersection, additive/subtractive... No other editors have that strong a geometry creation tool. But factor in still having to rebuild geometry to even preview what you're doing, switching of tools and modes in a clunky interface (the geometry mode windows are just awful), poor/slow texturing, the decreased emphasis on BSP in the engine, and its awful in-game performance, and it's all wasted.

I've done some crazy things in Unreal BSP I'd never be able to do in Hammer or Radiant (even with patches), like mocking up radially-snapping circular static mesh templates, but it was such a chore I'd have been better off doing it in another program. Now, if someone ever takes Radiant's speed of construction - you can't get much faster measured brush creation than a single drag on the grid - and merges that with the power of Unreal's BSP tools, we'll have a glorious tool indeed.

I agree with you there. The texturing tools are not too good and yes the rebuilding is definitly annoying. I work in wireframe all the time and I never use the builder brush, but yes that is not exactly the most userfriendly way. I agree that just being able to fly around and quickly make a cube here or there, a la hammer and other editors, would certainly be a whole lot better. My guess is that they would probably implement that in UE4, as it is one of the oldest and weirdest (go explain to a first timer what this weird red brush is) features left in the engine.

Another big problem for Unreals BSP is the lack of smoothing. Without that, a whole lot of things are suddenly impossible to make really.

Still, considering everything I still prefer Unreals BSP. Also for example the ability to just model something in Max, and just export/import it as BSP, in just 3 seconds, is awesome. Not that there is any need for that nowadays but whatever :)

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yeah, would be awesome to release this to the community especially for those of us who are no longer working at a Unreal based company. All we can look forward is to a game release that uses the new tech so we can play with it in the editor. :D

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Unreal BSP system is like 5 times faster than Source BSP system.

I'll agree with everything you said except for this.

Unreal is by far the superior editor out of the batch when looking at the "traditional" Radiant/Hammer/Unreal trifecta (and I'm saying this as a life-long Hammer/Radiant user), but its BSP construction is archaic by comparison (which, considering the age of Hammer and Radiant's interfaces, is depressing).

The ironic thing is Unreal's BSP tools are by far the most powerful - extrusion, concave shapes, clean intersection/de-intersection, additive/subtractive... No other editors have that strong a geometry creation tool. But factor in still having to rebuild geometry to even preview what you're doing, switching of tools and modes in a clunky interface (the geometry mode windows are just awful), poor/slow texturing, the decreased emphasis on BSP in the engine, and its awful in-game performance, and it's all wasted.

I've done some crazy things in Unreal BSP I'd never be able to do in Hammer or Radiant (even with patches), like mocking up radially-snapping circular static mesh templates, but it was such a chore I'd have been better off doing it in another program. Now, if someone ever takes Radiant's speed of construction - you can't get much faster measured brush creation than a single drag on the grid - and merges that with the power of Unreal's BSP tools, we'll have a glorious tool indeed.

I agree with you there. The texturing tools are not too good and yes the rebuilding is definitly annoying. I work in wireframe all the time and I never use the builder brush, but yes that is not exactly the most userfriendly way. I agree that just being able to fly around and quickly make a cube here or there, a la hammer and other editors, would certainly be a whole lot better. My guess is that they would probably implement that in UE4, as it is one of the oldest and weirdest (go explain to a first timer what this weird red brush is) features left in the engine.

Another big problem for Unreals BSP is the lack of smoothing. Without that, a whole lot of things are suddenly impossible to make really.

Still, considering everything I still prefer Unreals BSP. Also for example the ability to just model something in Max, and just export/import it as BSP, in just 3 seconds, is awesome. Not that there is any need for that nowadays but whatever :)

How do you create brushes without using the builder brush? :o

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You take an existing brush, and you just duplicate it (ctrl w). Then you just vertex/face/edge edit it a la hammer, and you drag it around.

Also if you do wish to use the red builder brush, you don't have to drag the crap all over the level all the time. Select a brush on one end of the level, do CTRL P, or alternatively right click - Poly - To Brush, and that will move the red builder brush over to that position, and take over the shape of the selected brush.

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Yeah, I never work with the builder brush unless I'm building the first brush for a level or specifically need to add cylinders. Once you duplicate, you'll never go back :)

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I do; I find it easier to drop a precisely measured cylinder from a builder than to create one by extrusion or vertex/edge manipulation, and for radial stuff it's cleaner to leave the off-grid verts so other cylindrical pieces or rotated meshes can line up properly.

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Kinda, but it creates a huge amount of very messed up cuts into the BSP around it. And without smoothing groups it looks total crap. You are prolly just building low poly gameplay levels though I asume?

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there are some rumors Epic heavily updated the brush builder tool in one of the latest UE3 builds. We might have more info during the GDC.

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Yeah, stuff like that is just for basic shells or converted to static mesh as a placeholder for a final modeled version. If the BSP walls stay, all the seams get covered with meshes. If you stick with power of two subdivisions on the cylinders, you'll get subdivisions that perfectly line up with the rotational snaps in the editor... awesome for radial sexytime.

Which reminds me, two more amazing bonus points for unreal - manual (temporary) pivot placement, plus the local grid. So easy to build cleanly at any angle.

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